Soheila Karimi, Ph.D.
Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology
University of Manitoba
- 600 BMSB
The Karimi Laboratory: Research Program in Spinal Cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis and Regenerative Medicine
The Karimi laboratory offers training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in neurosciences and stem cell research. Our research focuses on promoting neural repair and regeneration after injuries to the central nervous system with special interest in spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis. We use neural stem cell-based therapeutic approaches in preclinical models of SCI to promote tissue repair and recovery of function. Traumatic SCI results in lifelong disabilities in its victims who are mostly children and young adults. Neural stem cells (NSCs) hold tremendous promise for the repair of injured spinal cord since they have multipotential abilities to replace all damaged neural cells and the potential to provide a supporting environment for regeneration. Using complementary in vivo and in vitro approaches, our research team strives to understand how the properties of these NSCs are modulated within the microenvironment of SCI and how they can be efficiently recruited to replace lost neurons and oligodendrocytes. This knowledge is vital to develop new cell therapies to functionally enhance spinal cord regeneration. We specifically focus on developing repair strategies to optimize the replacement of oligodendrocytes, axonal protection and remyelination after SCI.
In our laboratory, we employ an array of advanced approaches in neuroscience and stem cell research that include in vivo spinal cord injury and micro-surgical techniques, stem cell/neural tissue culture, pharmacological drug delivery, cellular, biochemical and molecular techniques, genetic manipulations, fluorescence/confocal imaging, live animal imaging and functional/neurological analyses.
Our research has high translational implications in the fields of spinal cord injury and regenerative medicine.
Areas of research interests
- Neural repair and regeneration
- Regenerative Medicine
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neural Stem Cells
- Oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin repair
- Glial scar and neuroinflammation
- Cellular and Pharmacological therapies
- Stem cell/neural tissue culture studies
- Neuroanatomical and imaging approaches
- Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural stem cells differentiation in spinal cord injury
- Developing combinatorial stem cell therapies for enhancing oligodendrocytes replacement and myelin repair following spinal cord injury and myelin disorders
- Investigating the modulatory roles of reactive astrocytes and neuroinflammation on neural stem cell differentiation
- Developing bioengineering approaches for stem cell and drug delivery in CNS injuries
- Areas of Expertise
- Neural repair and regeneration in spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, regenerative medicine, neural stem cell biology and therapeutics, myelin biology and repair, preclinical modeling, CNS neuroinflammation and immune modulation, glial scar and matrix remodeling, pharmacological and bioengineered drug delivery systems for spinal cord regeneration, genetic models for studying neural differentiation and mechanisms, neural plasticity and neurological recovery in spinal cord injury and MS, cellular and molecular approaches in neuroscience, neuroanatomical and imaging techniques, primary in vitro models.